VIJAYAWADA: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently released details of the first phase of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 (2019-20) for 17 states and five union territories.
Field work for the survey was done between July and November 2019 by Sigma Research and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. As per the new data, Andhra Pradesh’s sex ratio has widened to 1,045 females per 1,000 males against 1,021 females per 1,000 males during NFHS-4, conducted four years ago.
The NFHS-5 showed that there are 1,024 females per 1,000 males in urban areas, and 1,055 females per 1,000 males in rural areas of the state. The sex ratio at birth for children born in the last five years stood at 934 females per 1,000 males during the conclusion of NFHS-5, while it was 914 females per 1000 males during the last survey.
While the population below 15 years of age has dropped to 22.2 per cent from 23.7 per cent, registration of children under five years with the civil authority increased to 92.2 per cent from 82.7 per cent. There is also a slight increase in the number of households with access to electricity (from 99.2 per cent to 99.5 per cent).
The status of drinking water facility has also improved as 96.7 per cent households have the access to drinking water against 95.6 per cent earlier. Sanitation facilities in the state has also improved to a great extent. While just 54.4 per cent of population living in households had access to sanitation in 2015-16, their numbers have since improved to 77.3 per cent. Usage of clean fuel for cooking has also increased since the last survey.
The percentage of women with 10 or more years of schooling has increased from 34.3 per cent to 39.6 per cent. However, the same for men has reduced to 47.9 per cent from 51.3 per cent. As Ayushman Bharat AB-PMJAY and Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) schemes were not completely rolled out during NFHS-4, details of a few categories were not available. Overall, literacy rate among men is 10.9 per cent higher than among women (68.6 per cent). Also, more men have access and have used internet.
Though the number of child marriages has reduced, the number of women, aged 15 to 19, who were already mothers or pregnant at the time of surveys, has increased. The percentage of women in the age group of 20-24 years, married before 18 years of age during NFHS-5 is 29.3 per cent against 33 per cent during NFHS-4, while that of men (aged 25 to 29 years, married before 21 years of age) has reduced to 14.5 per cent from 15.8 per cent.
The infant, neonatal and under-five mortality rates have also dropped to 30.3 per cent (2019-20) from 34.9 per cent (2015-16), 19.9 per cent from 23.6 per cent, and 35.2 per cent from 40.8 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya are the only states, among the 17 surveyed in the first phase of NHFS-5, where the proportion of women with unmet need for family planning has not declined.
As many as 31.2 per cent children under five years had stunted growth in 2019-20. The percentage of under-weight children, under five years of age, has also decreased to 29.6 per cent from 31.9 per cent. The percentage of children (six to 59 months) who are anaemic has increased to 63.2 per cent.
Gender-based violence can also be seen to be having a decreasing trend. As many as 30 per cent of married women (aged 18 to 49 years) have experienced spousal violence in 2019-20 against 43.4 per cent in 2015-16.The data for the survey were collected from 11,346 households, 10,975 women and 1,558 men.